The Easiest Vegetarian Dinners for Busy Weeknights

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(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

When we hear vegetarian dinners, you know what comes to mind? Luscious veggies, tender beans, rich broths, flavorful sauces, and great textures. Basically, there’s never a dull moment when a really good vegetarian dish is on the menu, so we put together some of our favorites to help make a veggie-powered dinner a reality.

There’s a vibrant skillet paella, sweet potato tacos, spicy stir-fried cauliflower, and slow cooker vegetable stew. Basically they’re all wholesome and colorful dishes heavy on vegetables that will leave you full and satisfied — no food coma required.

Since the orzo gets cooked right in the skillet with the colorful mix of eggplant, onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes, you have a quick, wholesome dinner that’s low on cleanup.

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

When sautéed with butter and garlic, green olives warm, soften, and soak up so much rich goodness, creating an easy, flavorful pasta sauce that rivals any restaurant dish.

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Rice noodles are a great staple to keep in the pantry for quick and easy meals. These nearly no-cook noodle bowls are easy enough to pull off when it feels too hot to cook and you just don’t have any energy.

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This is the most delicious way to eat tomatoes and cheese for dinner. It starts with store-bought pie crust and is surprisingly easy to pull together.

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(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

The easiest way to make a vegetarian salad more satisfying is to serve it warm. Here, the hot roasted vegetables wilt the kale and soak up serious flavor from the garlic balsamic vinaigrette.

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(Image credit: Andrea Monzo)

This vegetarian pasta is loaded with umami, thanks to the mix of sautéed mushrooms, plenty of garlic, and an ample amount of grated Parmesan cheese.

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(Image credit: Rachel Korinek)

This is comfort food you can feel good about digging into. Shredded kale is tossed with hearty black beans and crisp veggies, and softened by a creamy yogurt and cilantro dressing before it’s finished off with crunchy tortillas and lots of shredded cheddar.

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(Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

This Spanish rice dish is traditionally made with seafood, chicken, or sausage, but this version swaps the meat and fish for fresh produce and legumes. It’s a veggie-filled dinner — perfect for any night of the week.

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(Image credit: Erin Alderson)

When you’re in the mood for lighter fare and a meal to battle the chill in the air, this noodle soup will do the trick. Flavored with mushrooms and ginger, this dinner comes together in a snap.

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(Image credit: Chris Perez)

These vibrant sweet-and-savory tacos prove that sweet potatoes can (and should) be far more than just a side dish.

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(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Reach for that can of white beans in your pantry, and in 20 minutes or less you’ll have a wholesome meal that’s filling and satisfying. While the recipe calls for Swiss chard, feel free to swap it out for kale, mustard greens, or spinach instead, if that’s what you have on hand.

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(Image credit: Michelle Peters-Jones)

This simple, rustic weeknight meal gets an extra nutritional boost from mixing in whatever dark, leafy greens you have handy.

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(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

This simple-yet-aromatic salad combines plump kernels of farro with silky roasted eggplant and sweet caramelized onions for a dish that shines on its own.

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(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

This zucchini dish is inspired by banchan, those cute little side dishes served at Korean restaurants. With just five ingredients, it comes together quickly and brings with it a spicy kick. Serve it over your favorite grains to make it a meal.

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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Are you in the mood for some comfort food? Of course you are! This meal mixes fresh baby spinach and chickpeas — slow-cooked with ginger, garlic, and onion in a creamy coconut milk sauce — finished off with a healthy dash of lemon, and served over a sweet potato. It’s comforting and features your daily dose of vegetables, all in one dish.

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(Image credit: Coco Morante)

Fast-cooking lentil soup is a satisfying and simple meal to put together, even when you’re in a rush. It’s an ideal go-to when you want something hearty and healthy at the same time.

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(Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

Skip the pita pocket and serve crispy falafel balls on a vibrant seasonal salad of kale, carrot, and thinly sliced onion. Top it all with a tangy tahini dressing.

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(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

There are few better comfort foods than Vietnamese phở. Between the broth, noodles, and assorted garnishes — like onions, herbs, chiles, and lime — this flavor-packed soup is a wonderful interplay of textures and flavors.

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(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

This salad does indeed have a lot going on, but somehow all the ingredients really work well together and balance each other out. The nutty-flavored wild rice and hearty chickpeas make this a dinner-worthy salad.

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

A few spoonfuls of pesto add spunk to this quick, cheddar-laced macaroni and cheese both vegetarians and non-vegetarians at the dinner table will love.

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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Everyone needs at least one quick-and-easy soba salad in their dinner lineup. Toss soba noodles with sesame oil, shaved carrots, scallions, and a little soy sauce for this tasty chilled noodle salad.

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(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

This is an especially vibrant salad, both in color and flavor, and one that’s strong enough to stand alone as a main course. Cooked radishes, raw radishes, and crunchy lettuce are all tossed together in a fiery kimchi dressing.

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(Image credit: Emily Han)

Bright and garlicky chimichurri gives these avocado and black bean tacos a hit of heat and tang. It’s an easy way to wake up a vegan meal with a punch of herbaceous flavor.

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(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

This salad gets its inspiration from pad Thai, but unlike pad Thai, there aren’t any noodles. Instead, this crisp-and-crunchy salad is loaded with ribbons of zucchini and carrot, mild cabbage, earthy bell peppers, and some sweet-sour zing from grapefruit and lime.

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(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

This comforting, quick-to-make soup gives cabbage the respect it deserves by putting it front and center among the beans, fennel, garlic, and Parmesan-scented broth.

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(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Roasting half of the cauliflower before blending it into the pot lends a nutty depth to the soup that pairs well with the sweetness of the coconut milk.

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

You won’t need to worry about boiling water tonight. The gnocchi and a slew of veggies are tossed on a sheet pan and roasted for 20 minutes.

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